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Pointer grabs bragging rights, iS8 crown

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When summer workouts begin and St. John’s University Coach Steve Lavin’s renowned nine-man recruiting class comes together, there is sure to be some talk about the prestigious iS8/Nike Spring High School Classic.

Sir’Dominic Pointer, the bouncy 6-foot-5 combo forward out of Quality Education (N.C.), will have all the bragging rights.

Not only did he have 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Sean Bell All-Stars to a 71-60 win over future teammates Maurice Harkless, D’Angelo Harrison and Jakarr Sampson of Real Scout in the basketball tournament final Sunday in South Jamaica. He also had a memorable right-handed slam squarely over Sampson that brought the capacity crowd to its feet.

“I’m going to remind him a few times,” Pointer joked. “Let him know.”

The title meant a great deal to Raheem “Rah” Wiggins, Sean Bell’s hyperactive and, at times, critical coach. A South Jamaica product who does most of his coaching in the city’s many streetball leagues, the MRI operator grew up on the tournament.

“It feels great, it’s for everybody in the Sean Bell program, that’s what the championship is for,” he said. “This is my neighborhood. Winning this is real big for me.”

Pointer had help from MVP Josiah Turner, his teammate at Quality Education headed for Arizona in the fall. Outplaying counterpart Tavon Sledge, an Iowa State-bound point guard, Turner had 16 points and seven assists.

He gave Sean Bell the lead for good with a spinning right-handed layup in the lane to close the third quarter and controlled tempo the entire way, helping them dig out of an early 10-point hole with his unabashed penetration, dead-on no-look passes and fearless drives into the lane.

“I never played in a tournament like this,” said Turner, the third-ranked point guard in the class of 2011 by scout.com. “It was a good experience playing against New York guards.”

Wiggins said Turner was the best point guard at iS8 all spring after Saturday’s comfortable win over New Heights-Artie and he proved it on Sunday.

“He has great knowledge of the game, he has great court awareness,” the coach said. “He’s a very special talent.”

Kerwin Okoro scored 12 points for Sean Bell in his spring debut and All-American Khem Birch, a Pittsburgh recruit, added nine points while Harrison had 13 points, eight steals and six assists for Real Scout, P.J. Torres had 15 points, Harvard-bound Max Hooper had 12 and Sampson notched nine points and seven rebounds.

Harkless, limited to three points because of a sore right ankle, and Sampson developed a bond over the last six weeks teaming together in the 60-team tournament that draws nationwide talent. They got to know Harrison, who flew in for the weekend from Texas, over the weekend.

“It’s a tournament that helps you get ready for college because the competition is crazy,” Sampson said. “It was a good experience playing with D’Angelo, getting to know him, getting to know his playing style. So we can come in and just play right away.”

There was talk Pointer would play with Real Scout as well, but he landed with the Sean Bell All-Stars, a loaded team full of Division I prospects. As a result, he already has one up on his future teammates.

Mack attack: Myles Mack, the diminutive but potent point guard headed for Rutgers, was named Player of the Year. First team honors went to Sampson (Real Scout), Sidiki Johnson (New Heights-Artie), Pointer (Sean Bell All-Stars), Kyle Anderson (Playaz Club Seniors) and Sledge (Real Scout).

Second team was Birch (Sean Bell All-Stars), Jalen Cannon (Sports Fest), Kuran Iverson (Long Island Lightning), Jevon Thomas (Juice All-Stars) and Jermaine Sanders (New Heights-Kimani). Third team was Kelvin Amayo (NIA Prep), Damion Lee (Sean Bell All-Stars), Max Hooper (Real Scout), Maurice Watson (Team Philly) and Jabril Trawick (Sean Bell All-Stars).

Updated 10:52 am, October 12, 2011
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